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How to plan your budget trips?

Traveling can sometimes become both exhausting and expensive. But with proper planning, it can be done on a budget. There are a lot of questions like how to plan your budget trips and most of us find it hard to execute. I am sharing some amazing tips to make your travels great and inexpensive.

If you have read the first part and finally you have a destination in mind, let’s move to the next piece of that sweet plum cake that I told you about.

“Plum Cakes? I thought we were here to plan our trips” 

 Then you haven’t read my first blog of this series. Check it here: How to Choose the best trip for you

As I said, it’s just a few tips. But not simple ones. This can be the most exhausting one. Please don’t get disheartened. The outcome pays off all the labor. And if you make it a habit, it will be fun.

Now, why is this hard? You need to spend a lot of time browsing different travel blogs, booking websites reviews, and lastly, find as many coupon codes and discount deals as you can.

So let’s start in detail and this may sound more like your high school essay and boring. But this is the most serious stuff. 

Now for a few minutes switch off that fun mode of yours and activate your “learning mode”

How to calculate the traveling cost

Distance matters!

 One important factor that decides the expense is the location. You are in Kerala and you wish to visit Manali. It will be a lot more expensive for you than for someone who is from Delhi to visit Manali. 

You are closer to the location, you can travel by train, by bus or by your vehicle. If you are going to a place that can be accessible by train, you book an overnight sleeper train, which is cheaper and more comfortable than a bus.

Choosing your mode of travel

 Traveling by private taxi or in your vehicle will cost you more. But if you are sharing with your friends, then it may get cheaper and more convenient than traveling by bus or train.

Choose public transport if you are on a budget trip and if you need a little more comfort, there are many Non AC buses to these places. Check websites like HPRTC, UTC, Kerala RTC, Redbus. Etc. 

Let’s check this example. You are in Delhi and you want to go to Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.

  1. Book an overnight bus to Dharamshala.
  2. Drive on your own
  3. You can rent a taxi.
  4. You can book an overnight train to Pathankot and take a bus to Dharamshala.

 Now you have four options. Let’s choose the cheapest one first.

Booking the sleeper train to Pathankot is the cheapest option and it only takes 2 hours to Dharamshala from Pathankot. You can save on booking a hotel for the day and it is faster than a bus or car.

If you are with your family and prefer to travel in your car, then the best option for you is the second one. You need to focus on the short and safest route.

In a nutshell

So the thumb rule is if you are on a budget, check all the possible options and calculate the cost of journeys. Compare them and select the most affordable option. If you are with family and travel by your vehicle, then choose the best route that saves a lot of petrol. Always keep safety in mind, if you choose the shortcuts.

Research for Hotels and Restaurants

” seek and you will find”

You might have noticed, I used “research” instead of “search” in the title. And I mean it. 

We are fortunate in that we can access a lot of information with a few mouse clicks and scrolls. But we just need to search for it. 

Search for the hotels and homestays of your choice on the internet. If you get the contact numbers, call them and negotiate. Watch Youtube videos, check google reviews, search extensively, you will definitely find the best place to stay and the best restaurants to eat.

I have shared my experience in Kalpa in the first article. 

” There was one time, I was planning my visit to Recking Peo and Kalpa. Even a week before the trip, I started my research. I was checking through some blogs and some youtube videos. In one video a YouTuber was taking us through the village roads in Kalpa. There I found a small board with the phone number of some homestay. I paused the video, dialed the number that was shown there, and guess what, I found my best and affordable stay at Kalpa. He was very humble and even more humble when I met that person.

In short : 

  • Shortlist your hotels and Restaurants of your choice
  • Proximity to the important places
  • Calculate the cost.
  • Call them, if needed and negotiate
  • Check reviews as much as you can. 
  • Have a backup stay option as well.

Plan” the things to do”

This is a very important part of the planning stage. We have to make sure that each day in that place is well spent. Sometimes we go on a trip and we don’t have any idea what to do next. We simply waste a lot of time deciding what to do. 

Ask yourself as many questions as you can. Why do you want to go there? What are all things you have to do? What are the activities we can expect there? Many more. Do not limit yourself. Get answers to these questions before you even pack your bags. 

When you plan a trip, get a map, locate the places you want to visit. Get an idea about the distance between each place you want to visit. Is it near your hotel? 

If you plan everything in advance, when you actually go there you will see everything works as per your plan and you save a lot of time.

 Let’s take an example of a trip to Kerala. Suppose you landed at Kochi Airport. You plan to explore Cochin, Alleppey, and Munnar. So how do you plan your trip?

A simple search on Google Map will tell you Kochi, Alleppey, and Munnar are like a triangle. You can either start from Cochin to Munnar, then to Alleppey, and come back to Cochin Airport. Or you can start from Kochi to Alleppey then to Munnar and then back to Kochi. 

Well, it is better than being stuck at the airport thinking where to go and what to do.

Coupon Codes and Deals

Almost every booking website provides great deals and coupon codes nowadays. Sometimes you don’t need to find it anywhere, it will be available during the time of the checkout. There are other times you need to find it with an extensive search.

Travel During Off seasons

Everything is expensive during peak travel seasons due to high demand. One way to reduce the travel expense is to travel in Off-Season. Staying is less expensive, there are more options to choose from, and even traveling can be less expensive. I went to Chitkul and Kalpa during the off-season, and it was fantastic, especially for the price.

A little bit of planning can help you save time and a lot of money. This part is equally important as the trip itself and most of us do not give much attention to it.

Next comes the packing and essential things to carry on a budget trip. You can check it here: Essential Things to Carry on Trips

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